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This week HerCampus had the pleasure of learning about VOIX – a company that focuses on female empowerment and safety, founded by Victoria Sakhai and her two daughters, Daniella and Desiree. We had the great opportunity to talk with Daniella further about VOIX.

Her Campus: It’s great to have you Daniella! Before we dive in I have to ask – Halloween is less than a week away! Do you have a favorite Halloween candy?

Daniella Sakhai: Hmm I’d have to say Sour Patch or the Twisted Twizzlers, they’ve always been my two favorites.

HC: I’m with you on the Sour Patch! So to start off, how would you describe VOIX for those who aren’t familiar with it?

DS: We’re the first collection of fashion-forward, high-end safety whistles that serve a dual purpose: style and function. Our VOIX whistles were designed to be worn around your neck in a variety of styles to be lifted in an instant to sound a shrill alert if in danger. Our whistles are also meant to raise awareness and help end violence towards women, while also serving as a constant reminder to speak up and not be silenced. We donate a portion of all sales to female empowerment organizations and are on a mission to equip women with a bold voice to be heard.

HC: These are definitely unique pieces. What do you feel sets VOIX apart from other self-defense methods on the market?

DS: The fact that it’s so easily disguised as a necklace that people don’t even think of it as a “to-do.” It doesn’t make them change their normal routine by calling a service to walk them home at night, or a bigger bag to carry pepper spray–they can just throw on a day-to-day necklace and be done.

HC: The fact that these are so beautifully designed really stands out – do you think this intersection of design and safety is important? If so, why?

DS: Thank you!! Absolutely- from a production and design standpoint it was difficult to find the right balance between how loud it would be and the design of the actual whistle. It’s also important that the styles are trendy enough for girls to throw on without thinking too much about its functionality.

HC: What’s been most rewarding about working with VOIX?

DS: We did a college campus trunk show at Penn during parent’s weekend and it was incredibly rewarding to see both students themselves and also moms, dads, brothers and boyfriends picking up whistles for their loved ones and just being so excited about the concept, the mission and the design- it felt so good!

HC: Your mom actually came up with the idea for VOIX you moved into college, right? What steps did she take to kick start VOIX into the company it is today, and how have you continued to be involved upon graduating from school?

DS: Yes, my mom actually came up with the idea for the whistles when she was moving me into my first apartment in college during my sophomore year at UPenn. After moving me in, she continuously asked me to carry pepper spray or call Penn police to walk me home at night. When I told her that those options were unrealistic she told me she’d come up with a different defense mechanism: a trendy whistle necklace that would blend in with whatever I was wearing. We first wanted to make sure that the design was aesthetic and elegant, yet made a very loud sound, which is harder than you might think. We went through rounds of manufacturing and finally found the right balance. I then spent time developing our site, researching female empowerment organizations to partner with, attending trunk shows both at jewelry shows, and on college campuses, growing our social network with my sister Desiree who is currently at BU, and getting brand ambassadors on campuses ranging from Vanderbilt to Michigan. It’s been quite the journey!

HC: It sounds like it! Any tips for readers who have an idea similar to VOIX and want to get it off the ground?

DS: Just dive in! Do as much research upfront as you can and find mentors in your industry who can help direct and guide you. Don’t wait on ideas that you believe in- simply start planning and executing.

Thanks for the great advice and insight Daniella! Anyone who would like to get involved with the brand here at Michigan can contact brand ambassadors Olivia Furano and Drew Mirman. To learn more about VOIX and to view their products you can visit the website or check them out on Instagram, @voixnewyork. 

Images Courtesy of: Daniella Sakhai

Alexa is a senior at the University of Michigan majoring in Art & Design. When she's not holed up in the studio Alexa loves baking and cooking, getting involved with her sorority, and a good Jersey bagel. Some of her passions include corny puns, cartoons, feminism, Frita Batidos, and an intense love for dogs. Check out Alexa's instagram @ alexacaruso178 and her art @ alexacarusoart
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